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Friday, January 2, 2015

Trains, Goals, & Plans

 Proverbs  29:  18 says "Where there is no vision, the people perish:..." I couldn't think of anything else on the broken subway I was stuck in. I kept thinking how many neat metaphors I could make from the experience. I could use: missing the train, the wrong train, or stuck going nowhere. I could apply them and make a lesson about goals from the situation. But I won't.
  Proverbs 29:18, was one of the first Proverbs I learned as new believer. Sammy Johnson quoted those words from the pew in my home church the first time I heard them. It might as well been Solomon himself speaking. Sammy was the youth leader at my church, who constantly taught us the importance of planning. It was easy to see positive effects of planning not only in Sammy's life but also in his son, Scott's life. Scott is now a pastor and awesome man. No doubt a testament to the successful plans of a loving father. There's a simile, just like our Heavenly Father plans for our  future. Sammy and Scott made a special trip to Duke to see me the week of my surgery. During their visit, I remembered those faithful words Sammy had taught me years ago.

Early in my Christian walk, I learned never to make New Year's resolutions. Resolutions are proof that faith without works is dead. They remind me of some church council meetings I've attended. If you don't be intentional and set goals, it just ain't gonna happen. There's some power in setting goals. At least in my case, my resolving falls short.
 There's something about writing down a goal and putting where you can see it that resonates with you. "Fail to plan and plan to fail". There's not a successful person, in the world, who hasn't had these words drilled into them. I even found this neat link about bible verses that tell us to set goals.
The new year is a perfect time to set some God sized goals. I'm sharing some of my own.

1. Broaden my ministry's reach.Through speaking,  missions, and outreach. Stepping up my giving. Creating a family devotion time.
2. Lose another 30 pounds. Back at the gym and using the lose it app.
3. Learn to play the guitar. I'm ordering the Keith Urban deal. Never ordered off TV before .
4. Getting closer to debt free. 
Just like eating an elephant. Or maybe a couple hundred.
5. Beating Cancer. That's not up to me 

I can't help but think, Gideon wasn't planning on becoming a mighty man of valor treading wheat in a winepress. Peter wasn't planning on meeting Jesus. God only knows what Paul was planning to do in Damascus. But God has a plan of His own .
Twenty years later, I understand it not my vision I perish in lacking. Now another Proverb would burn into my heart. Proverb 16. Verse nine says, "The mind of a man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps."  I set some God sized goals in 2014 and God showed up and showed off. Actually, I am wrapping up one today by launching a new website. www.clinthardwick.com .The Broken Vessel  has had well over 5000 views since July and a few changes need to happen. It has a translator button being installed since it is being read in 20 different nations on 5 continents. I can't help thinking how God has used cancer to accomplish these goals. Yesterday, I shared the gospel with the shuttle driver. She and her daughter are going to church for the first time in her 16 year old daughter's life, with me. I'm getting her a bible. I would have never been here had it not been for this disease. We've already had our first bible study.
 Getting cancer didn't fit into my five year plan. I would not have chosen getting stuck in Boston anymore than getting stuck on a train. But God did. He ordered my steps and answered my prayers. He promised He would in Proverbs 16 :3 .
Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established .He knows how to get things done. I plan on giving Him all the glory.

Proverbs 13:16
Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool displays folly.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Goal-Setting#sthash.j4ftZt2b.dpuf
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Proverbs 16:9
The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Goal-Setting#sthash.R6JCxCqK.dpuf
Proverbs 16:9
The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Goal-Setting#sthash.R6JCxCqK.dpuf
Proverbs 16:9
The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Goal-Setting#sthash.R6JCxCqK.dpuf


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